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Master of Space Studies

Prepare for a Career in the Space Sector

Have you been dreaming of starting a space career but don’t know where to begin?

The Master’s program in Space Studies is an interdisciplinary program that provides students a degree with the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in the rapidly evolving space sector. It covers all space domains and a wide range of topics.

You will gain a deep understanding of space engineering, space applications, space exploration, and the physical and life sciences of the space environment. You will also be familiar with space policies and regulations and will have the ability to critically evaluate knowledge across a variety of disciplines. The Master of Space Studies also emphasizes entrepreneurial aspects, preparing students to establish and fund space startups and master project management techniques.

If you are interested in a career in the space sector, the Master’s program in Space Studies is the perfect program for you.

“ISU has changed both my professional and personal life. The MSS was not only a trampoline to achieving many of my dreams but also a tool to create new ones: It has given me friends, a job, a network I can rely on, knowledge, skills, and a whole new dimension of ideas on what I can achieve.”

ILIASS TANOUTI, MSS20​

Master Structure

The first two semesters are delivered at the ISU Central Campus in Strasbourg (France) between September 2024 and June 2025 and are followed by an internship (MSS) or a Master’s thesis project (MSc).

In the accredited MSc program with a Master’s Thesis, each semester counts for a total of 30 European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) with a total of 90 ECTS for the entire program.

The MSS program with internship validates 75 ECTS.

Mode of Study: Full-time or modular by full semester over 3 years.

MSS Structure

SEMESTER 1

MODULE 1:

Get ready for Module 2 by reviewing your fundamentals with 2 of the 4 following courses:

Engineering

Physical Sciences

Life Sciences

Policy and Management

MODULE 2:

Broaden and deepen your understanding of interdisciplinary aspects of Space Studies:

Principles of Space Engineering and Applications

Principles of Space Science and Exploration

Principles of Space Policy and Entrepreneurship

Scientific Methods and Professional Skills

MODULE 4:

The Team Project (TP) is organized in Module 4 spanning the first two semesters. Students engage in a Literature Review on the topic of the TP in preparation for in-depth, original research. The TP module is intended to develop the ability of students to work on a significant space-related problem in a 3I (interdisciplinary, international, intercultural) team environment, integrating the learning from the core modules with relevant individual and team study. Students make recommendations to the space actors, presented in several oral and written deliverables.

SEMESTER 2

MODULE 3:

Track specialization

Choose one track to specialize in:

Department activities encourage ex­change of knowledge, ideas and opin­ions through debate and discussion, as well as hands-on activities. De­partments have more time to go into greater depth with activities such as:

  • A seminar and discussion that go into greater depth following a core lecture
  • Visiting a space-related facility in the area
  • Building and operating very low frequency radio receivers
  • Remote sensing projects using local imagery and involving ground truthing
  • Examining barriers to technology transfer
  • Presentations by participants on their own work or interests
  • Building and launching a small rocket and payload
  • Hands-on experience with data systems or experimental hardware
  • Debates on space exploration’s impact on society

Department activities provide an im­portant opportunity for participants to interact with faculty members and lecturers and build their professional network. They also provide a means for participants to become sensitive to the cultural differences that govern personal interactions in a group set­ting and to adapt and develop presen­tation and negotiation skills in light of this cultural diversity.

This track provides content in space systems engineering and space applications including the recent advancements in Earth observations, telecommunication, and navigation systems. Students will learn to identify, formulate, and solve advanced problems in aerospace engineering and the applications of satellite technologies. They will apply knowledge and understanding of space systems, innovative technologies, and project management principles in multidisciplinary environments.

Department activities encourage ex­change of knowledge, ideas and opin­ions through debate and discussion, as well as hands-on activities. De­partments have more time to go into greater depth with activities such as:

  • A seminar and discussion that go into greater depth following a core lecture
  • Visiting a space-related facility in the area
  • Building and operating very low frequency radio receivers
  • Remote sensing projects using local imagery and involving ground truthing
  • Examining barriers to technology transfer
  • Presentations by participants on their own work or interests
  • Building and launching a small rocket and payload
  • Hands-on experience with data systems or experimental hardware
  • Debates on space exploration’s impact on society

Department activities provide an im­portant opportunity for participants to interact with faculty members and lecturers and build their professional network. They also provide a means for participants to become sensitive to the cultural differences that govern personal interactions in a group set­ting and to adapt and develop presen­tation and negotiation skills in light of this cultural diversity.

This track provides content in astronomy and planetary science as well as robotic and crewed space exploration missions to Low Earth Orbit (LEO) and deep space. Students will study the evolution of the Universe and the origin and evolution of our Solar System as well as the characteristics of exoplanets. They will learn the technologies and methodologies that make those observations possible. Students will also learn about current and future robotic and human exploration missions and challenges for the health of humans living and working in space.

Department activities encourage ex­change of knowledge, ideas and opin­ions through debate and discussion, as well as hands-on activities. De­partments have more time to go into greater depth with activities such as:

  • A seminar and discussion that go into greater depth following a core lecture
  • Visiting a space-related facility in the area
  • Building and operating very low frequency radio receivers
  • Remote sensing projects using local imagery and involving ground truthing
  • Examining barriers to technology transfer
  • Presentations by participants on their own work or interests
  • Building and launching a small rocket and payload
  • Hands-on experience with data systems or experimental hardware
  • Debates on space exploration’s impact on society

Department activities provide an im­portant opportunity for participants to interact with faculty members and lecturers and build their professional network. They also provide a means for participants to become sensitive to the cultural differences that govern personal interactions in a group set­ting and to adapt and develop presen­tation and negotiation skills in light of this cultural diversity.

This track provides content in space policy and law, space business, and entrepreneurship. Students will learn about the main policy drivers of world space actors, the various dimension of the space economy, the international space legal frameworks, and management techniques applied to the space sector. Furthermore, students will learn to develop successful business plans and will attend specific workshops and activities in relevant domains to this track.

Interdisciplinary Workshops

3 workshops to challenge you in a team with topics varying each year:
Space design & Architecture, Robotics competition…

Advanced Studies

2 courses to dive deeper in a topic, with varying topics each year:

Space Business Plan, Astrobiology, Space Pharmacology, Remote Sensing Data Analysis…
More

SEMESTER 3

Choose between MSc or MSS

Master of Space Studies (MSS)

Academic Year 2024/2025

For students seeking fast-tracked professional insertion. With the rapid expansion of the space sector, industries and agencies need qualified individuals more than ever. The “Master of Space Studies” provides college graduates with the knowledge and network needed to join the space workforce.

MODULE 6:

Department activities encourage ex­change of knowledge, ideas and opin­ions through debate and discussion, as well as hands-on activities. De­partments have more time to go into greater depth with activities such as:

  • A seminar and discussion that go into greater depth following a core lecture
  • Visiting a space-related facility in the area
  • Building and operating very low frequency radio receivers
  • Remote sensing projects using local imagery and involving ground truthing
  • Examining barriers to technology transfer
  • Presentations by participants on their own work or interests
  • Building and launching a small rocket and payload
  • Hands-on experience with data systems or experimental hardware
  • Debates on space exploration’s impact on society

Department activities provide an im­portant opportunity for participants to interact with faculty members and lecturers and build their professional network. They also provide a means for participants to become sensitive to the cultural differences that govern personal interactions in a group set­ting and to adapt and develop presen­tation and negotiation skills in light of this cultural diversity.

Join an organization carrying out space-related activities (national Space agency, private company, law firm…)  and get hands-on work experience to put your knowledge and skills into practice.

Fees are EUR 27,000, covering all tuition (living expenses are not included) for the Master of Space Studies (2 semesters, internship).

MASTER OF SPACE STUDIES ACCREDITED (MSc)

Academic Year 2024/2026

This new program “Master of Science in Space Studies” is accredited by german ASIIN (Accreditation Agency for Study Programmes in Engineering, Informatics, Natural Sciences and Mathematics) and is recognized at a European level as it is now listed on the European Quality Assurance Register.

MODULE 5:

Department activities encourage ex­change of knowledge, ideas and opin­ions through debate and discussion, as well as hands-on activities. De­partments have more time to go into greater depth with activities such as:

  • A seminar and discussion that go into greater depth following a core lecture
  • Visiting a space-related facility in the area
  • Building and operating very low frequency radio receivers
  • Remote sensing projects using local imagery and involving ground truthing
  • Examining barriers to technology transfer
  • Presentations by participants on their own work or interests
  • Building and launching a small rocket and payload
  • Hands-on experience with data systems or experimental hardware
  • Debates on space exploration’s impact on society

Department activities provide an im­portant opportunity for participants to interact with faculty members and lecturers and build their professional network. They also provide a means for participants to become sensitive to the cultural differences that govern personal interactions in a group set­ting and to adapt and develop presen­tation and negotiation skills in light of this cultural diversity.

Select a research question and apply the scientific process to search an answer to this question, either at ISU or in a host institution.

The thesis is necessary to obtain an accredited Master.

Fees are EUR 32,000, covering all tuition (living expenses are not included) for the MSc Space Studies (3 semesters, accredited).

If you are in need of financial support, please check the:

Admissions – Funding and Scholarships page.

Master Graduates

Shaping the Cosmos

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*In recent years, 6 months after their degree, 80% of MSS graduates are employed and 12% are in further study.

Masters Admissions

1. Applicants must have obtained a bachelor’s degree prior to the start of the Master’s degree program: Space Studies, including 3 years of studies as a minimum.

2. Advanced degrees (e.g. MSc, PhD) are considered an asset and will be factored into the admission evaluation scores.

3. Applicants must be proficient in English in all of the following language competences: Listening, Reading, Speaking and Writing.

4. Applicants, with the exceptions listed in 5. below, are required to provide an English proficiency certificate:

  • a TOEFL-IBT test (with a minimum score of 80) or IELTS test (minimum score: 6.5).
  • other tests, such as a Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR), Cambridge English Qualifications can be considered in exceptional cases.

5. English Language Proficiency Certificate exceptions: the following applicants are exempt from providing a language certificate:

  • native English speakers
  • or applicants having completed / are completing an undergraduate or graduate degree from a recognized English language university located in a country where English is the primary language
  • or applicants having lived and been employed for at least 3 consecutive years in a country where English is the primary language.

A series of lectures in each field of study that is designed primarily for non-experts is presented. Thus, med­ical specialists can understand the lec­tures on propulsion and engineers and lawyers can understand the lectures on the effects of weightlessness on the human body.

Core lectures are often grouped in clusters. Questions from participants and group discussions with the lectur­ers are encouraged.

Knowledge gained from the core lec­tures allows participants to:

  • Understand the very large range of factors, both technical and non-tech­nical, involved in space activity
  • Apply good decision-making and management skills to projects
  • Appreciate the relevance of all dis­ciplines during the development and exploitation of space activities

Academic background:

1. Applicants must have obtained a bachelor’s degree prior to the start of the Master’s degree program: Space Studies, including 3 years of studies as a minimum.

2. Advanced degrees (e.g. MSc, PhD) are considered an asset and will be factored into the admission evaluation scores.

English level:

3. Applicants must be proficient in English in all of the following language competences: Listening, Reading, Speaking and Writing.

4. Applicants, with the exceptions listed in 5. below, are required to provide an English proficiency certificate:

  • a TOEFL-IBT test (with a minimum score of 80) or IELTS test (minimum score: 6.5).
  • other tests, such as a Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR), Cambridge English Qualifications can be considered in exceptional cases.

5. English Language Proficiency Certificate exceptions: the following applicants are exempt from providing a language certificate:

  • native English speakers
  • or applicants having completed / are completing an undergraduate or graduate degree from a recognized English language university located in a country where English is the primary language
  • or applicants having lived and been employed for at least 3 consecutive years in a country where English is the primary language.

The ISU Admissions Committee assesses applicants to the Master’s degree program: Space Studies based on quantitative weighted evaluation criteria. These criteria include:

  • Academic qualifications: Degree earned (PhD holding the highest weight, followed by MSc and then BSc) and academic performance (all Master’s degrees are weighted equally, as are all Bachelor’s degrees).
  • Professional experience: The committee also considers relevant professional experience and any voluntary activities you may have participated in.
  • Reference letters: Strong recommendations are important. You will need to submit at least two reference letters from previous academic supervisors. A third letter from a professional supervisor is optional but may be considered.
  • Interview: All shortlisted candidates will participate in a remote interview with two ISU faculty members. This is your chance to showcase your passion and suitability for the program.
  • Motivational essay: A well-written motivational essay (around 500 words) is required. This essay should explain your motivations for pursuing this program and your career goals.

It’s important to note that nationality and professional background are not factors in the initial selection process. No applicants are denied admission into the program based on these aspects.

Appealing a rejection: If your application is not initially successful, you have the opportunity to appeal this decision by contacting the Admissions office. When evaluating an appeal, the Admissions Office will again utilize the results of the quantitative weighted evaluation criteria that were applied during the initial selection process.

If you are in need of financial support, please check the:

Admissions – Funding and Scholarships page.

Final application deadline
30 June 2024

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A significant part of the ISU academic programs are delivered by Resident Faculty who provide teaching and advisory support to all ISU programs and activities.

A number of the ISU Faculty not resident at ISU are involved in supporting the Master’s degree program: Space Studies as Visiting Lecturers or as mentors for students during their internships.

Team project presentations

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